Minardi driver profiles

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com Tarso Marques - Second time around Tarso Marques was born on 19 January 1976 in Curitiba in the State of Pirana, like fellow Brazilian F1 driver, Ricardo Zonta. Marques is not new to Formula 1. He made...

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com

Tarso Marques - Second time around

Tarso Marques was born on 19 January 1976 in Curitiba in the State of Pirana, like fellow Brazilian F1 driver, Ricardo Zonta.

Marques is not new to Formula 1. He made first appearance in 1996 at the Argentinean GP where a collision put an end his debut. His second time in a Formula 1 car, was at the Brazilian GP for which he did not qualify. It was an unfortunate start to his career.

Regardless his track record, Marques definitely left an impression on Giancarlo Minardi, because 1997 saw Marques returning to F1, taking over from Jarno Trulli at the French GP at Magny Cours. He went on, to complete the rest of the season for Minardi Hart partnering Ukyo Katayama. Trulli left to fill the seat at Prost-Mugen Honda.

Prior to Formula 1, Marques graduated through the ranks of Brazilian Karting (1987 - 1991), Brazilian Formula Opel (1992), The Brazilian and South American Formula 3 series (1993) and finally securing a seat in the FIA International F3000 Championship driving for Vortex (1994) and Dams (1995). He sports impressive achievements in the afore­mentioned categories e.g. first place at Estoril and 3rd at Barcelona in the F3000 series.

He briefly disappeared from the F1 scene to compete in CART for 2 seasons (1999 - 2000) driving for Penske and Swift respectively.

Present day, he finds himself back 'home' at Minardi as an official driver for the 2001 season.

When not on track Tarso can be found water skiing somewhere on the shores of a beach or gliding over a lagoon somewhere in Brazil.

Fernando Alonso - Will his good track record continue in F1?

Fernando Alonso was born on 29 July 1981 in Oviedo in Spain. Only 19 years old, he will take on the 'older' men.

Alonso is not entirely a novice in Formula 1, but having the works seat in comparison to the testing seat is a total different ball game.

Alonso's racing career started in 1994 when he entered the Spanish Kart Championship. He graduated Champion of this series in 1996 to make is a double in 1997. He then progressed to the European Kart Championship in 1998, where he finished as runner-up to the title. His winning streak followed him to take the 1999 Euro Open Championship run by Nissan. 2000 proved to be a challenge in the Formula 3000 World Championship, where he ended up 4th, sporting impressive finishes in individual races. 2001 will be the quite a challenge for Alonso, where he'll find himself in the ultimate of racing events, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Schumacher, Villeneuve and Hakkinen.

Unlike team-mate Marques, Alonso has yet to make an impression to secure a seat for 2002.

When he is not at the 'office on wheels', you'll find him playing football or cycling the streets of Oviedo.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ricardo Zonta , Fernando Alonso , Tarso Marques , Ukyo Katayama
Teams Minardi